Back pain is one of the commonest conditions in western society and little has been found to substantially help patients with chronic or recurrent back pain in the long term .
A research trial, funded by the Medical Research Council, was conducted to look into this. It took 579 patients who had previously contacted their GP for help with chronic back pain and divided them into groups receiving GP care, therapeutic massage or Alexander Technique.
In 2008 the British Medical Journal (BMJ) reported the results after 1 year which showed the Alexander Technique to be the most successful approach:
- an 86% reduction in days of pain per month compared to GP care alone
- ability to carry out on average 3 more types of daily task without limitation from back pain
- significantly improved quality of life
Little P, Lewith G, Webley F et al
Randomised controlled trial of Alexander Technique lessons, exercise and massage (ATEAM) for chronic and recurrent back pain. British Medical Journal 2008: 337: a884
To view the 9 minute BMJ video which reports on the trial, please click here